My Birth Story and 5 Things It Taught Me!
I wanted to post my birth story because what mama doesn’t love reading about someone’s birth story?!
DISCLAIMER: If you have been pregnant you obviously know this is going to be a little (extremely) TMI so you have been warned!
My pregnancy was a crazy ride, so as I approached my due date I was so ready to give birth.
At 32 weeks I developed an irritable uterus and had consistent contractions all the time, causing me to have to take a break whenever they happened. I was put on pelvic rest and told that I was essentially on bed rest: I could stand up and do things but whenever I got contractions I had to sit or lay down. Which I couldn’t even load the dishwasher without getting contractions so I was essentially useless as far as doing anything goes.
I was constantly in and out of the labor and delivery unit for my contractions.
At 35 weeks I received a shot to stop my contractions but even that did not work. I always tried to not go in but my doctor would get pretty upset with me when I would have contractions 3 minutes apart for 6 hours straight without calling or going in. So eventually I just gave in and would be seen just in case.
By 36 weeks I was already 1 cm dilated. 37 weeks I was 2 cm. 38 weeks I was 3 cm. 38 and a half weeks I was 4 cm dilated and still not in labor.
I lost my entire mucus plug at 37 weeks. People ask me how I know… trust me. If you lost the entire thing you would know. It is HUGE!
And the three days leading up to my labor I had bloody show. My body had been giving me signs I was going into labor soon but I had no idea when it was going to happen.
On the morning of Tuesday, June 27, 2017 I woke up at 4:00 am and I just happened to be wide awake when I did. Collin (my husband) was already awake and getting ready for work. I went to the bathroom and my bloody show had turned from pink to bright red. So naturally I was a little concerned about the color.
Collin and I talked for a little while and decided it would be best to go to labor and delivery just to make sure red blood wasn’t a bad thing to have (spoiler alert: it’s just bloody show that is fresh blood… not an emergency at all!).
When we got to the hospital they checked me and I was 4cm dilated. They told me they would monitor me for an hour and that I would probably be going into labor soon but if I made no progress within the hour they would send me home.
I normally had consistent contractions (well, Braxton hicks that were causing dilation) ever since I was 32 weeks so when they hooked me up to the monitor it was not a cause for concern to see the hills for the contractions. The nurse asked if I could feel those and I definitely could but they were not painful.
About thirty minutes into being attached to the monitors I started getting a couple very random, VERY PAINFUL, contractions. The “hills” on these ones were way taller than my normal ones - almost all the way off the chart, too. So, I knew those weren’t just normal Braxton hicks.
I told the nurse and she tried to tell me that this was from me being hooked up to the monitor and it was all in my head (spoiler alert: it definitely wasn’t!).
The nurse checked me and said I had made a little progress, but since it was not a full centimeter that they were not going to admit me. After forty-five minutes of being monitored (not even a full hour) we were sent home.
The second my feet hit the floor of the hospital while we walked to my car I started getting consistent and very painful contractions that were 2-3 minutes apart (1-minute contraction with only a 2-minute break in between if I was lucky). The car ride was so horrible as the contractions became excruciating.
When we arrived at home, my contractions only continued. Collin and I couldn’t decide if this was the real thing or not since we had been sent home so many times for “fake” contractions. After talking, we decided to head back over to the hospital, and at this point it was 9:00 a.m.
Once we arrived at the hospital, they checked me and I was 5 cm dilated so I was admitted and placed into a labor and delivery room. By the time we got admitted it was about 10:00 a.m. and we had our doula meet us at the hospital. We called our family and texted our friends just to let them know that our baby girl was on her way.
At this point the pain was so bad, and I didn’t know how to utilize the tips I learned through my research while I was so uncomfortable. My contractions were even starting to get a little inconsistent as well.
At 11:00 a.m. they came in my room and checked me; I was at 6 cm. They told me that if I did not get the epidural then I would not be able to get it since the anesthesiologist had to go in to back-to-back c-sections.
I wanted to try for a natural birth but in between the pain and the ultimatum I decided just to get the epidural.
By 11:30 a.m. I had my epidural and was relaxing on the hospital bed… where I started to get extremely nauseous. I was throwing up the rest of my labor and even after delivery. They tried giving me Zofran (which I took daily during my pregnancy for hyperemesis gravidarum) and that did not work at all.
In between throwing up I just tried to lay back and relax. My doula, Megan, brought an eye mask that I wore and set up an essential oil diffuser in the room for me. She brought me fresh washcloths to place on my forehead and new bags every time I threw up.
At 3:00 p.m. they checked me and I was at 7 cm with my water bag bulging. About an hour later they checked me and I was still at a 7. Minutes later, my water broke and I began feeling an intense nerve pain in my pelvis. I told the nurse and they said that it was probably nothing and they left the room.
At 5:30 p.m. they decided to check me and the nurse looked right at me and said “You’re at a 10 and she is already in the birth canal.” I was so shocked!
I couldn’t start pushing right away because the doctor was not at the hospital so we did some “practice” pushes.
When the doctor finally arrived (about 45 minutes later) I began pushing and our baby girl was born at 6:22 p.m.! She was 7lbs 1oz and 19.5 inches long.
I did need two stitches as I tore a little bit. And the nerve pain went away right after she was born so I am pretty sure that pain was just her trying to come out. I am convinced I fully dilated after my water broke and she would have been born earlier if they would have checked me again.
But overall, I would say my birthing experience was absolutely amazing! The nurses were fantastic, my doula was so helpful, and my husband was so sweet and caring.
You don’t need to have the “perfect” labor and delivery to love your experience. Try not to have too many expectations and just remember that any way you deliver is the right way if your baby is safe, happy, and healthy!
Here’s five things that I learned from my birthing experience.
The nurses are there for you so if you want something or do not want something, tell them.
I wish that I had stood my ground and tried to wait for the epidural just a bit longer. I also wish that they had checked how dilated I was when I felt the nerve pain. ALWAYS ask your questions and voice your concerns!
Don’t beat yourself up if your birth doesn’t go according to plan!
I didn’t necessarily have a birth plan - but my goal was to aim for a natural birth. I feel like I gave up a little too early but I try not to have regrets because every birth is beautiful! It’s okay for things to not go the way you want them to!
Surround yourself with people who will only bring love and positivity.
I only had a few people in the room during labor (Collin, my doula, my mom, and my mother-in-law) and only have Collin and my doula in the room while I was pushing. Everyone there was there to be positive and loving or else they would have to leave. Don’t put up with negativity during your labor. This is supposed to be a beautiful and life-changing moment!
Take pictures and/or videos!
This is a huge one! At first, I didn’t know if I wanted pictures of the labor and birthing process. But after the were taken and I saw them all I was so glad I did! You WILL look back on those photos and love reliving those moments!
Take the Childbirth Class - even if you don’t think you need to!
I didn’t take a childbirth class and I WISH that I had! I feel that if I had I would have been able to go longer without the epidural and possibly even trust my body enough to go through labor and delivery without any pain meds.
I hope this post was helpful to all the soon-to-be mamas out there!